Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Portugal's Constitutional Court rejects euthanasia law

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On March 15, Portugal's Constitutional Court rejected the euthanasia bill that was passed by Portugal's parliament on January 29.

On February 19, President Marcelo de Sousa decided not to sign the bill into law but to refer it to the Constitutional court for evaluation. President de Sousa was stated that the bill was: "excessively imprecise," potentially creating a situation of "legal uncertainty."

The Portuguese American Journal reported that the Constitutional court decided:
“the law is imprecise in identifying the circumstances under which those procedures can occur.” The court stated the law must be “clear, precise, clearly envisioned and controllable.” The law lacks the “indispensable rigor.”

The Portuguese American Journal also reported that the ruling Socialist Party will reword the bill and pass it again. They reported:

Following the Court rule, the law was swiftly vetoed today by the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and returned to Parliament. The ruling Socialist Party has already stated that it will reword the legislation and pass it again.

Similar to Canada's euthanasia law, the bill allowed euthanasia based on subjective not objective considerations. Even if the "suffering" can be alleviated, euthanasia would be permitted based on whether or not the person considers the treatment acceptable.

The term suffering included psychiatric suffering, which permits euthanasia for psychiatric conditions, even when the person asking to be killed considers the treatment options unacceptable.

The term permanent injuries specifically permits euthanasia for people with disabilities.

In July, 2020 I reported that the Portuguese Medical Association, that opposes euthanasia, informed the government that they will not permit doctors to participate on the euthanasia commission (the commission to approve euthanasia). At the same time, a group of 15 law professors, including Professor Jorge Miranda, known as the father of Portugal's Constitution, stated that the euthanasia bills are unconstitutional.

Portugal needs to care for and not kill its citizens.

1 comment:

Dr. Jeff Koloze said...

Americans must learn from Portugal's experience.

Socialists (Democrats in the US) want the medical killing called “assisted suicide”.

First, Democrats wanted abortion. Now, they want this form of euthanasia.

Pass a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution to protect the first civil right, the right to life.